RUSH: San Francisco, folks, you just have to love this. I do. I have to take a brief time-out, but I’ll give you a little hint. Residents of San Francisco are livid at the employees of Apple and Google and Facebook. They are livid at them. You see, Apple and Google and Facebook actually have buses that collect key employees every morning in their neighborhoods. Big charter buses, not little yellow school buses. I mean big charter buses with Wi-Fi on them and everything, and take them to and from work so that they don’t have to drive, so that they don’t get in accidents. They can work in transit.
Google’s in Mountain View, Apple’s in Cupertino. They pick up some employees, not all of course. Key employees. These employees happen to be paid well above the average or mean salary in San Francisco. That’s just a little hint. Based on what I’ve said, if any of you have just even a little hint of understanding of capitalism, you will know already what the problem is, by what I’ve told you. Don’t be distracted by the bus. Don’t be distracted by that. That is just an interesting part of the story, the way these companies get their key people to work. The people of San Francisco are protesting at the bus stops. They are protesting employees. And I will ‘splain why. It’s San Francisco, folks.
RUSH: Yes siree, Bob, things are gonna get a little ugly in San Francisco. “Things are getting a little bit ugly in San Francisco. A Google bus that was transporting employees out of the city to the company’s headquarters in Mountain View was halted by protestors today. A Google employee posted a photo from inside his bus,” and what’s going on here is that some residents in San Francisco are upset with the wealth of Google employees — and do you know why?
Because the wealth of Google employees — and, by the way, it’s not just Google. I mean, Apple does this. I understand Facebook buses their key employees back and forth. This story here focuses on the Google employees and the fact that lots of people in San Francisco are mad at them because they make so much money, which, in turn, is making housing prices unaffordable for many people. It is altering the city in ways that people don’t like. For example, these young employees at Google…
Here’s a headline. This is BusinessInsider.com. “How Google’s Buses are Ruining San Francisco — It’s become common practice for Silicon Valley-based tech firms, like Google, Apple, and Facebook, to shuttle its employees to and from work on Wi-Fi equipped private buses with cushy, leather seats.” What does “cushy, leather seats” have to do with this? Nothing. It just illustrates how irritated the reporter is.
“But Rebecca Solnit…” I wouldn’t want that woman to be turned loose at a shopping mall in China. “But Rebecca Solnit recently argued that these buses are partly to blame for gentrification, mass displacements, and increased housing costs. There are more than 1,700 tech companies in San Francisco, which employ about 44,000 people. Not everyone rides these buses, but those that do are making the housing hunt in San Francisco increasingly more difficult.”
Oh, yeah. “‘At the actual open houses, dozens of people who looked like students would show up with checkbooks and sheaves of resumes and other documents and pack the house ” and end up buying it. They don’t care what it costs, they start bidding against each other, and the asking price ends up way down there, and what it sold for becomes a bidding item. Therefore, these young employees, who have more money than they “need,” are paying more money than they should, and causing prices in housing values to skyrocket for everybody else — and they are livid about it.
There are three stories on that — and I, frankly, love it. Liberal versus liberal. Spy vs. spy. This is stuff of Mad magazine. Upset at wealth. I mean, isn’t it… I mean, here you have… I’m sure all of these people think of themselves as good liberals. They’re socially conscious. They’re probably all for gay marriage. It’s San Francisco. They’re probably all devoted to human rights, civil rights, liberal rights, whatever else. But some of them are really doing well financially, and that has become the focal point of rage and anger.
It just isn’t fair. Those people… Not only does the company send buses to and from work, but they pay ’em so much that normally priced houses can’t be found anymore, ’cause these people don’t even have any appreciation for how much money they’re getting. They’re just bidding things up, and they don’t care what it costs for anybody else. I just love it, I have to tell you.
“In several neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, rent has gone up between 10 and 135% over the past year, Solnit writes. More people and small businesses are also facing evictions because they’re getting ousted by tech executives and employees, Solnit writes.”
In several neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, rent has gone up between 10 and 135% over the past year. More people and small businesses are also facing evictions ’cause they’re getting ousted by tech executives and employees.
“In short, [the City by the Bay] has become increasingly unaffordable and the rising costs of living are driving out a lot of people. ‘Sometimes the Google Bus just seems like one face of Janus-headed capitalism; it contains the people too valuable even to use public transport or drive themselves,’ Solnit writes.” So there is resentment that they’re even on the bus. There is resentment that these people are so highly valued that their businesses wouldn’t dare put ’em on BART.
The people they work for wouldn’t dare put ’em on a bus of mass transit. They wouldn’t trust it. That’s for the plebes. That’s for everybody else. So the dividing lines of liberalism. See, even in liberalism there is inequity. Even in socialist enclaves and utopias like San Francisco. Now, what do we have? We got blue on blue. Blue on Blue. (laughing) Remember that, Bobby Vinton in the sixties?
So even in these liberal utopias, there is anger over income inequality, and there’s anger over the fact that these really high-valued employees, their companies — who are supposedly the great stewards — wouldn’t dare put ’em on mass transit. That’s for the nobodies. But the people are really important and really special, so they’re taken care of. But this is not supposed happen in San Francisco. Isn’t supposed to be anybody more special than anybody else, other than Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
They can be more special ’cause they’re liberal politicians.
But amongst the general population, everybody’s supposed to be equal. Everybody’s supposed to be compassionate. Everybody is supposed to be hoping to get along. Everybody is supposed to not want any more than anybody else has. Everybody is supposed to understand everybody else’s problems and be sensitive to them. And here come these new, young, unappreciative employees making more money than they need and deserve, driving prices up for everybody and being driven around on luxury buses with cushy leather seats, and the hippies are left to the Tenderloin, and they are just not digging it, man.
RUSH: Okay, one more thing here on blue on blue in San Francisco, before we get to your phone calls. The people who are upset at this — and, again, folks, this is the kind of thing that liberals don’t think will ever happen in their neighborhoods, because there will be total compassion, and everybody will be sensitive to everybody else, and nobody will flaunt it. Even if they have more, they won’t flaunt it. But here the Google and the Apple and the Facebook employees are flaunting it. First, luxury buses with Wi-Fi. Next, high salaries, and they’re bidding up the price of real estate, while everybody else is suffering, and they’re laughing all the while.
That’s not supposed to happen in utopia. There isn’t supposed to be that kind of insensitivity. Nobody is supposed to laud over anybody else how much more they have than everybody else. So the have-nots are not taking this lying down, sitting down, laying down, or otherwise silently. They have concluded, they have figured out that these buses — the Apple, the Google, the Facebook buses — are using public transit stops to pick up their employees. And they’ve figured out that these companies are not paying for that. They’re just piggybacking.
So the protesters say that Google and other companies that pick up and drop off their employees on public streets should pay for the privilege of using public bus stops. And thus they are demanding that these companies pay $500 million a year to use public transit bus stops to pick up their special employees — $500 million a year! But where do they want the money to go? To the mayor’s office, to the county, to the city government, where it will obviously be redistributed fairly and freely, and the people who are the have-nots will then get their share of what these special employees are getting. Half a billion dollars for using a bus stop.
This is from a protester flier: “Tech industry private shuttles use over 200 SF MUNI stops approximately 7,100 times each day in total (M-F) without permission or contributing funds to support public infrastructure… If the tech industry was forced to pay for every illegal use of these stops –” These are the people that welcome illegal aliens. These are the people who are happy to pay for somebody else’s addadictomy operation. These are the people that are banning plastic bags and plastic water bottles. Now, all of a sudden, Google and Apple, who are already paying through the nose in taxes, now the little protesters, (crying) “You can’t use public bus stops without paying us $500 million a year. Pay up, now!”
But the great thing is, this is not supposed to happen in utopia. Everybody’s supposed to be equal. But then, it isn’t. So the ones who have way more than everybody else, they’re not supposed to flaunt it, but they are. They’re rubbing the have-nots nose in it, and the have-nots are not able to live where they want to live, they say, because of these unappreciative whippersnapper employees who have no appreciation for bidding up the price of everything.
“If the tech industry was forced to pay for every illegal use of these stops for the past two years, they would owe an estimated $1 billion.” (laughing) That’s in a protest flier going around. And of course they want the money to go to the government, where somehow they think they’re gonna end up getting their share of it. They’re not entitled to a dime. Not a dime. So it’s a war on public transit, in a sense. It’s public-private transit. I wonder if the bus drivers, the Google bus drivers, I wonder if they’re union. I wonder who owns the buses.
Do Google and Apple own the buses or do they charter the buses? Maybe the protestors could cause the owners of the buses not to permit them to be used, to strike. Maybe the bus drivers are not union and maybe that’s the real reason for the protests. Who knows. That’s not the real reason. The real reason is the haves and the have-nots exist. These leftists, their whole worldview is being just blown up right in front of their faces. It’s usually the Reagans and the Limbaughs and the Pat Buchanans and the people like that who would do things like this. Not their fellow leftist citizens. Not people that work at Google or Apple. My God, we love those places. I think it’s just classic, folks, just classic.